Stuyvesant is a fantastic school...for many students. For others, not so great.
Two of my daughters were accepted to Stuyvesant, and the school was right for one of them.
But I am a firm believer in school choice and suggest that if any parent reads about or is told to go to public school and nowhere else, ignore this. Every child is unique and has unique goals, abilities and favorite futures. No school is right for everyone. Homeschooling is right for some families, but for others, not appropriate. (see here as well) There are many resources available for anyone interested. Then there are charter and religious schools. Parents may request an Impartial Hearing to receive public funds for a private school, summer programs, and educational resources, if their child(ren) has any special needs or is Twice-Exceptional (2e). In my opinion the NYC Department of Education has no interest in setting up programs for 2e kids. I started providing representation for parents at the Impartial Hearing Office in 2001. See the Advocate Guide on the Parents Unite site and FIRE’s Chicago Statement Resources.
Those rising 8th and 9th graders who feel that a Gifted and Talented high school curriculum is what they want and is right for them should have a chance to test into the specialized high schools in New York City. (SHSAT)
Any young person from second grade and up can also take a test for the Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth, or the Talent Search Program they prefer.
See here:Talent Search Opportunities for Gifted Students
My girls did the CTY Program, and it is amazing, with career workshops, summer activities in special areas such as marine biology, archeology, etc., and a full-time mentor to answer questions. Scholarships are available.
My recommendation for all parents: look for alternatives to public school for your child. I support the opinions of Kerry McDonald:Hi Betsy,
Two decades ago, when I was a graduate student in education policy at Harvard, I remember someone asking me what I thought of my professors and classmates. I quipped: “They respect diverse opinions; they just don’t have any.” In my experience, it was a monolith of thought regarding education policy and practice.
Sadly, education has become even more monolithic since the turn of the millennium, with diversity of thought and dissent seemingly less tolerated than before. This has been particularly problematic in higher education, and it’s been trickling down to K-12 curriculum, theory, and policy.
But there are some hopeful signs that, maybe, we can all at least get back to tolerating diverse opinions in education even if debate about these opinions may be limited.
Today I am presenting at the aptly named, Diversity of Thought in K-12 Education Conference, at the Westin Copley here in Boston. It was organized by the upstart group, Parents Unite, a Boston-based collection of parents dismayed at the emphasis on critical race theory in classrooms, and the overall climate of conformity in education. In a July article about the group, The Boston Globe noted that these parents have “mobilized to fight for ‘true diversity of thought’ in classrooms, an effort resembling those launched elsewhere in the country in the spring by conservative groups and families against what they describe as the ‘indoctrination of students with ‘woke’ ideas about race and social issues.”
Diversity of thought and tolerance for dissent are classically liberal ideas on which our nation was founded. It’s a shame that challenging current education orthodoxy is somehow painted as an attack on education by “conservative groups.”
This weekend’s conference brings together a broad cross-section of educators, activists, and parents who are pushing back against divisive, illiberal educational philosophies and policies. I am particularly excited to meet some of the people I have written about over the past year, including Paul Rossi, a math teacher at an elite Manhattan private school who came out against the school’s focus on “woke” curriculum, and Andrew Gutmann, a parent of a child in a different, but similarly swanky, New York City private school that was following the same critical race theory path.
Other speakers include Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization that has done heroic work in protecting free speech on college campuses, and Ian Rowe of 1776 Unites, a project created by civil rights activist Robert Woodson in response to The New York Times’s 1619 Project.
It is refreshing to see a grassroots movement of parents, educators, and thought leaders coming together to champion diverse opinions in education and to promote tolerance for dissent. Encouraging various viewpoints, recognizing conflicting perspectives, and debating assorted curriculum approaches and school policies can help ensure that American education is as pluralistic as America itself.
Until next week,
Senior Education Fellow
Foundation for Economic Education
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials